's 2017 Horror Write-off:

The Conspiracy

Submitted by Justin Best (email)

It all started December 10 2028 when NASA started Hyperion the first manned mission to Mars. A small 3-person crew consisting of three astronauts. Captain Carl Douglas, Lt. Sarah O'Brian, and Lt. Michael Stewart had landed on the planet.

At first it was what you would expect nothing but lifeless desert. For the first day it seemed hopeless with not a sign that anything we hadn't already learned from probes had been found. But the next day Lt. O'Brian claimed she started hearing noises from a nearby cave like formation.

Soon Captain Douglas, and Lt. Stewart also heard it, and the team proceeded to head to the cave. At first it seemed like nothing but mundane geological phenomena like continental drift but then they noticed that it seemed like the cave was getting warmer, and warmer.

And that's when they found it a strange orange slime covering the walls. They collected samples of it but they knew whatever it was it meant one thing life even in just a micro biotic state did exist on the planet.

They wanted to return to the ship right then, and there to tell everyone else the good news but then they heard more noises like clicks, and that's when they saw them little tinny blue lights. The team investigated, and discovered that the lights were some type of creature that at best could be described as some strange crossbreed between an anemone, and a dragonfly with maybe a little bit of dandelion.

They weren't huge or scary if anything they were more afraid of the team then the other way around, and as soon as they saw the lights from the astronaut's spacesuits they swarmed away as fast as they could deeper into the cave.

The three of them followed the strange creatures, and as they ventured deeper, and deeper it seemed like the cavern was getting bigger, and bigger until they found themselves coming out the bottom of some strange underground canyon, and into some strange underground mountainous area.

They noticed along with the creatures was some underground river, and some more strange creatures that looked like a cross between trees, and insect eating plants like Venus flytraps mixed with frogs, and pitcher plants, mixed with frilled lizards eating the earlier creatures.

Soon they noticed an entire underground ecosystem with all sorts of strange creatures that at best could be described as a cross between creatures from earth mixed with other creatures if they didn't look completed unknown.

Strange mammal like beings that seemed to have trunks, flippers, and pouches all at once, strange rocks that turned out to be geometric shaped urchin like creatures. But soon that's when they heard them two equally horrifying screams.

One was the highest pitched shrill chirp or squawk they had ever heard while in contrast the other was the lowest haunting sounding moan that at best could be described as the noise the ghost of blue whale would make.

Their curiosity got the better of them and as they followed the source of the noise that's when they found something that chilled them to the bone. Down in the deepest canyon in the caverns where two creatures.

Both were equally large somewhere between 50-100ft tall. One resembled a black or dark blue giant turtle but with multiple eyes, with four arms, and two legs, and looked like it had electricity surging through its body.

While the other creature resembled what could only be described as some red dragon with four wings eyes along its neck and body, four legs, and two arms that each looked like a scythe with some organ that looked like an organic gun barrel.

The black turtle creature focused it electricity into large ball, and fired it at the red dragon which looked hurt but rather than scared off simply looked angrier, and revealed the purpose of it's strange organs when it fired what looked like small but relentless stream of plasma needles on the black turtle burning its body.

It seemed like that was it for the black turtle when they saw it slither out it's shell, and reveal that it was really some eel or snake like being, and its limbs were merely part of its shell. The black eel like creature then coiled around the red dragon, and suffocated, and electrocuted it to death, and proceeded to devour the dragon's corpse.

The three astronauts then proceed to run as fast as they could before the black snake could find them. It seemed like forever but soon they found the cave the first entered. They ran as fast as they could to the surface.

The astronauts made it to the surface where they ran back to the ship. After a couple of days, the mission was deemed a success, and the team returned to Earth. Nasa reviewed the footage, and studied the samples.

Nasa scientists determined that the orange slime was some strange bacteria like microbe, and that the creatures on Mars must have evolved from it the same way life on Earth did. It was debated if NASA should inform the people about what had happened.

Until they saw the footage of the giant creatures on Mars, and felt that even if man could colonize Mars it might have been only when not if they would find us, and who knows if those things eat each other what would they do to us.

Ultimately it was decided that the risks of colonizing Mars outweighed the benefits. However, that still left one problem. Should they tell the public the truth about what happened no matter how strange? No, there was no way humanity should know what happened it was just too horrifying to know what beings where living on Mars.

So, they hired a small team of film makers under the pretense that they were filming a reenactment of the existing mission that would be used in tv specials, and documentaries. They told the filmmakers, and actors that the mission was your typical mission that nothing out of the ordinary happened, and that Mars really was the dead world they all thought it was.

They then proceeded air the faked version of the mission as the real thing, and no one not even the people who helped make it knew better. Eventually a few crazies got lucky, and noticed the fakery. But even they simply believed that the mission was faked, and that the technology to go to Mars didn't exist yet.

But that you see was the brilliant part everyone knew there was a mission but only saw the fake version, and those who knew it was fake didn't believe there was a mission in the first place after all why would they fake it if there was a real one?